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Is Civilization on the Brink of Collapse?

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  • Published on Aug 15, 2022

Comments • 24 962

  • Kurzgesagt – In a Nutshell

    What We Owe The Future is available now - you can get it wherever you get your (audio)books or here:

  • Citric Thoughts

    "We just need to actually do it." If history has proven anything it's that societies never prepare for problems until they're already collapsing from them. EDIT: Since this got so much of a response I'll add to this - society goes through cycles. The people that solve the problems are the ones that had to live with the collapse and have no choice. Sadly we're seeing the death of a golden age as the system we're in can no longer adapt to the problems we face. I like Kurzgesagt's optimism, but systems either work or they don't. Every system works until it breaks because it cannot change and ours is no different. I hope I'm wrong but if we match the pattern of history I will not be.

  • MKK4559
    MKK4559  +424

    The art and animation are honestly some of the best, if not the best, I've ever seen. It looks cartoonish yet realistic, the nuclear explosions, ruined buildings, and cities are absolutely stunning. My favourite parts were

  • meltdown537

    Great video! At around

  • - Neo -
    - Neo -  +146

    "We have all the tools, all we need to do is to use them" if only the people with the money and power over industry were altruistic enough to help along, then we could solve so many problems right now. But then again, these people didn't get into these positions of power because they ever intended to be altruistic, they ended up there by stepping on and sacrificing other people and the environment. I just hope that all the little people in the world can collectively manage to make a change before it is too late, because the rich and powerful sure as hell won't.

  • Dave L
    Dave L  +264

    At times like these, finding meaning is crucial. Ancient Stoic philosophy has some good ideas (though flawed) for this. Relying on trying to be comfortable won't cut it. We all die, we all get sick, we will all face pain (even in the best of times). We do not all truly live. Part of living a full human life is finding meaning and contributing to something larger than yourself (could be as small as a friend group or as large as humanity itself... maybe even every sentient being). We can actually be happier when we approach life by putting finding meaning first anyway.

  • Human Bean
    Human Bean 28 days ago +64

    One thing we should really get rid of is the "just in time" distribution chains in industry, and overly complicated assemby processes (even if those are a bit cheaper). These make supply lines more vulnerable than necessary and also take a higher toll on the environment.

  • Sception
    Sception  +11

    if the question is "is civilization about to collapse?" then an answer of "don't worry, humanity will probably survive to rebuild over the following centuries" is maybe not the most reassuring answer.

  • CloudierCloud

    I've been reading ancient history lately and it's amazing how much of a blink of an eye our civilization actually is. My friend and I talk about loads of subjects and literally your entire video was our conversation word for word. I loved it

  • Gunner^
    Gunner^ 21 day ago +18

    Admittedly, watching this made me enjoy my evening meal even more, like it might be the last bit of decadence I ever experience...And I realise how incredibly lucky I am to even be in this position. Watching a video like this while lazing about on holiday. I like to think that I do what I can to help civilisation remain sustainable but oh boy do we have a hell of a task ahead of us.

  • kim mogensen
    kim mogensen 21 day ago +59

    The one about saving a lot of readily available coal for an emergency is a really good idea.

  • Lemon
    Lemon  +3

    as always I absolutely loved this video, but just personally I feel like it more answered “can civilization recover from a collapse” than “how likely is it for civilization to collapse?” Cuz honestly im worried more about the latter

  • Ashwynn Newkirk

    "We could still use modern agricultural products..."

  • Daniel
    Daniel  +2

    It's harrowing how we've gone from "hey, humanity is doing all kinds of things to help secure our future, its not all bad!" to "hey, not all of us will die, we're like cockroaches!"

  • ARocketScientist

    I love the optimism and encouragement that this video radiates. As a dad I really do hope that my daughters will live a thriving and thrilling, long life full of wonders of technology and social advancements. But then I look at the politicians, the alleged representatives of the people, and I see nothing but selfish imbeciles on puppet strings - but I cannot see the puppeteer. This is highly discouraging with regards to the future, even though I have to admit that I personally - apart from anonymously complaining on the internet - do not do much more than that. I complain but I don't actively resist because I'd rather live a comfortable life in a wealthy country than swim against the stream I hereby complain about. So what does this make me if not a selfish imbecile...

  • Nikhil Singh

    Thank you Kurzgesagt for providing this free education. After watching your ideas for 2 weeks I have transformed from hating science to loving it! Much love❤️

  • Louis Sivo

    Love this video! I always wondered about a collapse that took us so far back that we'd lose the ability to get back to where we had been. The biggest issue was not having easily accessible coal or oil to rebuild the stage of our industry that would allow us to then move past that. So your idea of stepping away from that now so as to leave it as an emergency resource, is a great idea. Then add in places of knowledge in a readable form, e.g. libraries, is something else we need.

  • FireGod1028
    FireGod1028 28 days ago +7

    The answer I got from this is: depending on circumstances we might have a civilization crash, but that doesn't mean that all life and technology would be lost. We would continue to thrive and make technological advances that would further generations of human life.

  • Daniel L

    The past couple of years has really given me this sense that the world is more unstable than just a few years ago. Maybe we aren't facing extinction, but it does feel like there is a real chance of civilization stumbling. I hope that is just a worst case scenario. But I can't help but feel a tension, a sense of fear.

  • Rebbecca- 🔥𝐆𝐨 𝐓𝐨 𝐌𝐲 𝐂𝐡𝐚𝐧𝐧𝐞𝐥 [𝐋!𝐯𝐞

    “Humanity is like a teenager, speeding around drunk corners, blind without a seatbelt.” What an outstanding way to describe the rapid growth of humankind.